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GWB McFarlane Theatres manages the Queen’s Theatre in Adelaide, which is the oldest purpose-built theatre on mainland Australia.


Situated at the corner of Gilles Arcade and Playhouse Lane in Adelaide, South Australia, the theatre is today used as a venue for performances and non-theatrical events.


Founded by brothers Vaiben and Emanuel Solomon in 1840, the theatre cost £10,000 to build in 1840 and had seating for 1000 people. The opening performance of Othello took place in January 1841.


In 1850 the Queen’s Theatre was remodelled with a new Georgian facade and re-opened in December that year as the Royal Victoria Theatre. A year later it closed again, due to a mass exodus of South Australians to the Victorian goldfields.


Between 1868 and 1973 the building was adapted for a variety of non-theatrical uses. It operated as the City Mission, a Horse Bazaar, as well as a warehouse, factory and showroom.


An archaeological excavation in the late 1980s uncovered extensive sub-surface remnants of the former Queen’s Theatre.


The site’s heritage significance prompted the South Australian Government to negotiate for its ownership during the 1990s and, upon acquiring the property, initiated efforts to conserve its surviving heritage architecture.


Today, the shell of the original theatre still stands within the 1850s facade of the Royal Victoria Theatre.


Since 1996 the building has been used as a venue for performances, but also frequently hosts non-theatrical events.


For enquiries and events bookings, phone 8361 8888 or email


Visit and follow us on Instagram @thequeensadelaide

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